Hyderabad: Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has urged the Election Commission to take strong action against candidates who try to influence the voters.
She said the Election Commission should curtail indirect ways of influencing the voters.
Addressing National Voters’ Day celebrations, she said she was disheartened to speak about an incident in which a candidate in recent Telangana Assembly elections appealed to voters to vote for him and if they don’t vote for him, he will commit suicide.
She did not name P. Kaushik Reddy of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), who had made the appeal while contesting from Huzurabad Assembly constituency. He was elected to the Assembly.
“That type of influence should not be there. That is wrong. I appeal to the Election Commission to take strong action against such candidates,” she said.
The Governor said the candidates should appeal to voters based on the good work done by them.
Stating that voting is the most powerful weapon in the hands of people in a democracy, she underlined the need for 90-95 per cent voting.
“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote,” she said, adding that citizens have the responsibility to vote so that good candidates are elected and there is good governance. She termed vote a weapon to fight atrocities and misrule.
She remarked that youth are reluctant to stand in queues to vote but they are ready to stand in long queues under hot sun to get visas of foreign countries.
She also urged youth to assess the candidates and vote for the best among them. “I am dead against NOTA. Somebody is there to get your vote. You assess the candidate and pick good among them. If you don’t find them then finally go for NOTA but youngsters are not assessing the candidates at all,” she said.
She also called for motivating the first-time voters and said the motivation should start from college. She suggested that there should be competition among electoral officers to achieve higher voter turnout.
The Governor also congratulated the Election Commission for conducting successful elections in Telangana. She said by introducing home voting for elders, the poll authorities have made Telangana a role model for the entire country.
She said people should realise that holiday is given on voting day to enable them to vote and not to go for excursions.
Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, State Election Commissioner C. Partha Sarathi and other officials attended the programme.
The Governor presented awards to best performing officials and winners of various competitions organised as part of voter awareness campaign.